crispy baked tofu in a bowl with lime

Elevate simple baked tofu with this crispy coconut crusted tofu recipe that can be made in the oven or air fryer! Easy to make and is delicious served solo with a sweet chili dipping sauce or tossed in salads and buddha bowls. Vegan + Gluten Free Option

close up of coconut crusted baked tofu

This is the tofu you never knew you needed.

Like, tofu with a crispy coconut crust. Tofu that you can dip n’ eat as a snack. Tofu that is fabulous tossed in just about anything.

This coconut crusted tofu will change the way you see (or taste) crispy tofu.

ingredients for coconut crispy tofu on a blue marble top

Why you’ll be raving about this crispy coconut tofu:

  • It’s hella easy to make.
  • It’s made with accessible and pantry staple ingredients.
  • It’s vegan AND can be made gluten free.
  • It’s packed with plant based protein.
  • It’s fantastic for meal prep.
  • It goes with like… with everything.
  • It’s just so damn delicious.

Convinced? Alright, let’s get to it.

step by step photos of how to bread and bake tofu

How to Bread Tofu (Properly)

Type of Tofu

First, let’s talk about the tofu. Firm or extra firm tofu is ideal for baking tofu so that it can be pressed without breaking apart. My all time favourite hack is freezing an defrosting the tofu– automatic tofu press! And it changes the texture (in a good way).


Time to give the tofu some flavour including soy sauce, coconut sugar and ginger for the perfect balance of sweet n’ salty. The tofu will soak up this marinade in no time if you use the freezer method.


Next, mix non dairy milk, lime juice, flour, garlic powder and salt into a bowl. This will be our egg and dredge replacement. And then in another bowl, mix together the panko and coconut shreds.

Dip the tofu into the batter and then into the coconut coating. I kind of like to press it on to ensure it’s fully coated.

Oven Baked Version

Place the breaded tofu on a lined baking tray and bake them for 15 minutes on one side, flip and then for another 10-15 minutes until they’re crispy and golden brown.

Air Fryer Version

You can totally use your air fryer to speed up the process! Just air fry them for 7 minutes on one side, flip and bake for another 5-7 minutes. I love air fryers because they literally take half the amount of cooking time (thank you air fryer ❤️).

close up of battered tofu in coconut flakes and panko

Tips to Achieve Crispy Crusted Tofu

  • Work Flow: Use your left hand to dunk the tofu into the batter mixture and then your right hand to coat the tofu with the breading. This prevents your fingers from becoming a mess.
  • Panko vs. Breadcrumbs: Panko is made with bread without the crust which yields a lighter, airy and more crispy crust.
  • Refrain from Over Crowding the Pan: Like with most baked things, make sure there is room for the tofu to crisp up or else the crust ends up soggy.
close up shot of baked tofu bites

What I love about this baked tofu is that a. it’s a nice change from just baking it up in soy sauce and spices and b. it pairs well with so many different ingredients and compliments all kinds of dishes.

Ideas include:

  • Tossed in buddha bowls, roasted vegetable bowls salads and grain bowls
  • Paired with sweet chili sauce, coconut curry sauce or simple lemon tahini
  • Solo dipped in sweet chili sauce or with a spritz of lime juice

So easy, so versatile, so damn delicious!! My favourite forever ♡.

air fried coconut crusted tofu in a wooden bowl

More Vegan Tofu Recipes to Love

baked tofu dipped in chili sauce

If you recreate this Coconut Crusted Tofu Recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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baked tofu dipped in chili sauce

Coconut Crusted Tofu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 10 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Coconut Crusted Tofu is light, crispy and easy to make in the oven or air fryer! Delicious in salads, grain bowls or right off the pan with sweet chili dip.


Units Scale

Tofu Marinade

  • 1 14 oz extra firm tofu (400g // frozen, defrosted and cubed into 3/4 inch pieces)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (45g)
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (24g)
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, grated




Baked Version

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine the soy sauce, coconut sugar and ginger. Add in the cubed tofu and toss in the marinate. Let it sit for 5 minutes. 
  3. In a bowl mix together the non dairy milk, lime juice, gluten free flour, garlic powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the panko and coconut shreds. 
  4. Dip the tofu into the batter then into the coating and place on a prepared baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the tofu and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  5. Serve with sweet chili sauce, lime juice or with a grain bowl!

Air Fryer Version

  1. Follow all instructions above. Instead of baking, place tofu pieces into air fryer at 400 F for 7 minutes. Flip the tofu pieces and then bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. 


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 306
  • Sugar: 7.2
  • Sodium: 1292mg
  • Fat: 16.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Protein: 18.3g
  • Cholesterol: 0


close up of baked tofu pinterest graphic

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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    1. either will work but sweetened will yield sweeter tofu– I’ve tried both and enjoy them differently 🙂

  1. I had this today and it’s nice and crispy and delicious! I love that it’s lightly sweet and topped mine with coarse sea salt and served it alongside butternut squash cubes. I used regular flour and ground ginger.

  2. This was such a great tofu recipe and a family favorite! i made a bowl with this tofu, edamame, mango, cucumber, carrots, rice, barley, and soy sauce! perfect together

  3. Such a tasty way to do tofu! Definitely a good alternative to people eating coconut shrimp…you can pretend you’re eating the same thing and fit right in. Eating plant based never tasted so good!

  4. I made it recently and I used a mix of soy sauce and ponzu soy sauce. It was absolutely amazing! Love your recipes!!

  5. Super easy to make and came out perfectly crunchy and delicious air-fried! The whole family enjoyed them and kept asking for more.

  6. The best tofu I have made yet! Who knew coconut and tofu would go so well together 😊 new favourite!

    1. Just gave this recipe and try and ohhh boyyyy were they ever yummy yummy! Coconut and panko with tofu mmm mmmmm 😋
      Recipe was also fairly simple to make which is important in addition to the great taste